Saturday, September 2, 2023

Threads (1984)

This was a British equivalent to The Day After (1983) intended to persuade us Better Red Than Dead.  Who would have guessed the choice turned out to be even weirder than that?  Unlike The Day After, which had an interesting family subplot that it follows, this starts with an interesting subplot of a family that evacuates to a farm out of town and somehow the writers lost what could have been an interesting and hopeful subplot conclusion.  

The beginning of Threads is a plausible and well constructed story about rising tensions leading to thermonuclear war with a realistic portrayal of the consequences for Sheffield.  

The harsh reality is that Britain is way too dense to survive a nuclear war without near total devastation.  Even most of the Northeast of the U.S. is in a similar boat.  Much of the West, because of how sparsely populated it is, could come out just severely damaged with some possibility of eventual return to a First World nation.  (San Francisco woukd likely never even get back to its current Third World status.)

Even worse, Threads soon turns into a lecturing piece about nuclear war, emphasizing the nuclear winter that Sagan cooked up to scare us into submission.  It loses its value as drama so thoroughly that I stopped about 3/4 through.

The good news is that the Reagan Administration managed to start negotiating a climb down from an absolutely insane number of nuclear weapons to a level sufficient to bring the First World briefly to Third World status followed by a likely painful recovery.  (Many other nations would likely destroy each other in the craziness: India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Korean )

1 comment:

  1. Most everything east of the Mississippi and north of the N/S Carolina line is going to be totally destroyed, either from direct blast effects, radiation/fallout, or criminal/survivor depredation.

    Same with Los Angeles/San Diego, San Fran, most of the I-5 corridor around Seattle and Portland, the I-25 corridor between Boulder and Colorado Springs, and the Flagstaff/Phoenix/Tucson axis.

    Down wind from the missile fields might be a bad choice as well.

    So I chose upwind from the missile fields, but far enough from Spokane to minimize the chances of fallout effects